As the temperatures drop, what better way to warm up than with a mug of hot cocoa and a holiday-themed romantic book? Whether you’re a seasonal reader or have already burned through our slate of sexy-romance TV entertainment and are looking for something new, these Christmas and New Year’s-themed books are guaranteed to keep the holiday spirit alive all season long. From thrillers to historical fiction and murder mystery to contemporary fiction, there are so many great books to choose from. However, come December 1, our to-be-read (TBR!) stack has room for one genre and one genre only: holiday romance.

These books have everything you’d want in a holiday storyline. Think snowy, magical backdrops, star-crossed lovers, awkward family vacations, friends-turned-lovers and lots of mistletoe. Plus, it’s never too late to add to your Christmas wish list or do a little shopping for the bookworms on your list. Here’s our roundup of nine page-turning holiday romance books.

Holiday romance books

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1. The Twelve Dates of Christmas by Jenny Bayliss

When her best guy friend submits an application under her name for a holiday matchmaking service, Kate has no choice but to go along with the charade. Becoming her small town’s Bachelorette is not how Kate intended on spending the most wonderful time of the year. Yet, she can’t get help but get a little giddy over the idea of finding her Mr. Right just in time for Christmas.

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2. Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory

Vivian Forest wasn’t expecting to spend the holiday season frolicking around England—let alone engaging in a steamy, secret affair with one of the royal member’s security guards. They’re enamored with each other, but can their new love go the distance? Or will Viv turn into Cinderella once the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve? This the fourth book in Jasmine Guillory’s Wedding Date series.

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3. This Time Next Year by Sophie Cousens

Since the day she was born, Minnie Cooper has never been able to catch a break. I mean, just look at her name. Quinn, on the other hand, is charming, smart and successful—and Minnie can’t stand it. Of course, she’s never tried to actually get to know him… until now. What happens when two New Year’s Eve babies, who were born in the same hospital seconds apart, meet decades later on the cusp of their thirtieth birthdays? You’ll have to read to find out.


4. The Secret of Snow by Viola Shipman

After losing her dream job, a mortified Sonny Dunes moves back to her tight-knit Michigan hometown where her past seems to haunt her at every turn. Oh, and she’s back to living under her mom’s roof again. Desperate, she secures a reporting gig at the local news station and volunteers to cover all the town’s holiday festivities. Then she meets Mason…

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5. The Tourist Attraction by Sarah Morgenthaler

Set against the snowy backdrop of the Alaskan wilderness, this wintery novel centers around a stubborn local and an adventurous tourist, whose connection sets off so many sparks it could start a fire. Zoey may just cancel her flight back home.

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6. The Holiday Swap by Maggie Knox

“The Parent Trap” gets a winter wonderland makeover in “The Holiday Swap” which follows adult twins Charlie and Cass as they agree to a temporary identity swap in an attempt to escape each of their overwhelming realities. All seems to be going well until their complicated love interests come into play.

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7. In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren

In this hilariously heart-warming title, Mae finds herself in her own personal Groundhog’s Day in which she continues to relive every activity, conversation and meal of her family’s Christmas vacation from the day prior. Unbeknownst to her, she now has the perfect window to tell her crush how she really feels.

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8. The Holiday Ex-Files by Jennifer Peel

If you’ve ever been burned by an ex, then you’ll find great humor in this book’s main character, Cami, whose idea of getting over her ex during the holidays is cutting him out of every photo they took together. When Noah Cullen (*cough* her ex-lover’s best friend!! *cough*) crashes her bah-humbug party and convinces her to get out of the house and bask in the city’s Christmas festivities, Cami may find herself under the mistletoe much faster than she thought possible.

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9. Eight Perfect Hours by Lia Louise

When a harsh blizzard forces unexpected road closures, two trapped strangers decide to pass the time together. Come morning, they part ways. What was supposed to be eight perfect hours turns into something much bigger when fate can’t seem to keep them from running into one another.

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10. The Matzah Ball by Jean Meltzer

Rachel has hidden her secret career as a Christmas romance novelist from her Jewish family for years. So, when her publisher insists on a Hanukkah romance for her next contract, she’s desperate to find her muse at the Matzah Ball. Even if it means she has to work with her old camp nemesis, Jacob.

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11. Holidays in Virgin River by Robyn Carr

The snow is falling in Virgin River and the locals are full of holiday spirit and, of course, romance. This special edition book includes two fan favorite Virgin River holiday stories: “Under the Christmas Tree,” and “Midnight Confessions.”

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12. A Merry Little Meet Cute by Julie Murphy

Bee Hobbes has a successful career going as a plus-size adult film star but her new gig in a squeaky-clean family Christmas movie is going to be more challenging than she thinks. Oh, and her co-star/love interest is none other than her childhood crush, bad-boy trying to revamp his image, Nolan Shaw.

A version of this post was published December 15, 2021. It has been updated.